Scathing Report Details Atrocities in Venezuela

Experts allege crimes against humanity have been committed there since 2014
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 16, 2020 1:00 PM CDT
Experts: 'Crimes Against Humanity' Committed in Venezuela
A man, left, and his father tend to their crops on a hillside above Caracas, Venezuela, on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)

Independent experts commissioned by the UN’s top human-rights body have alleged the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has committed crimes against humanity since 2014. The experts issued a scathing, in-depth report on Wednesday that said the people responsible for crimes that include extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, and torture must be held to account, reports the AP. The 411-page report was commissioned last year by the 47-member-state Human Rights Council, which has the backing of the United Nations, and was based on interviews with victims, relatives, witnesses, police, government officials, and judges, as well as videos, satellite imagery, and social media content.

The findings, based on nearly 3,000 cases that were investigated or examined, concluded that Maduro and his defense and interior ministers weren't just aware of crimes committed by security forces and intelligence agencies, but also issued orders and provided resources. The BBC gives an example of a "typical operation," per the report: Weapons would be planted in an area tied to the opposition; security forces would then move in and effectively assassinate people or detain and torture them. The authors—Marta Valinas of Portugal, Francisco Cox Vial of Chile, and Paul Seils of Britain—say they didn't receive responses from the government itself. Per the New York Times, the experts say a criminal investigation into Maduro and associated officials and their level of involvement in the crimes is warranted.

(More Venezuela stories.)

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